MH-HC-RAPE-ABORTION LGB4

HC allows cancer-afflicted rape victim to terminate pregnancy
    Mumbai, Sep 14 (PTI) The Bombay High Court Friday
permitted a 14-year-old rape victim afflicted with cancer to
medically terminate her pregnancy which is now in the 24th
week.
    A bench of justices A S Oka and M S Sonak told the
girl to visit the J J Hospital at 11 am Saturday, and directed
the dean of the hospital to ensure that medical termination of
the pregnancy was performed by expert doctors expeditiously.
    The girl's parents had approached high court Wednesday
seeking permission for the medical termination of pregnancy.
    According to the plea, the girl, who is now in the
24th week of her pregnancy, was raped earlier this year and an
FIR was registered in the case.
    However, her pregnancy, resulting from the rape, was
detected only recently when she went to a local hospital for
her chemotherapy session.
    She has been suffering from blood cancer since 2010,
her lawyer Kuldeep Nikam told the court.
    The girl's father is a daily wage labourer and her
mother works as a domestic help.
    After learning about the pregnancy, they approached an
NGO which helped them get in touch with advocate Nikam, who
filed the plea in the high court.
    The bench had earlier directed the dean of the J J
Hospital to constitute a panel of expert doctors, including a
psychiatrist, to assess the girl's health condition and to
suggest whether medical termination of the pregnancy at such a
late stage can be permitted.
    After perusing the report Friday, the bench granted
relief to the girl.
    The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act permits
abortions after consultation with one doctor up to 12 weeks.
    Between 12 and 20 weeks, medical opinion of two
doctors is required in such cases where the foetus has
abnormalities, or in which the pregnant woman faces risks to
her physical or mental well-being due to continuing with the
pregnancy.
    Beyond the 20-week limit, exceptions are legally
permissible only if continuation of the pregnancy poses a
threat to the life of the unborn child or the mother.
    The bench also suggested that the girl's parents
approach the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority to
seek legal and financial assistance for the girl's education
and well-being in the future.
    Justice Oka said that in the past,in a similar case,
the MSLSA and some members of the bar had helped sponsor the
education of a minor rape victim.
    Advocate Nikam informed the bench that while the girl
used to go to school earlier, she had discontinued her studies
following the rape incident. PTI AYA BNM ZMN
RDS RDS